We all have big dreams. We all have the potential to do something great. But we often talk ourselves out of them because we get caught up in the obstacles, rather than creative solutions to overcome them. We make excuses for why we can’t succeed or why it’s not possible for us. But you’re never too young to be an entrepreneur. You’re never too old, either, for that matter. It can seem like a huge endeavor, but it’s actually not that difficult when you know what you need to do.
If you want to become an entrepreneur, there are plenty of people who can teach you how to be one. But Steve Jobs is one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs of our time and he had a lot to teach us about how to be a successful entrepreneur at whatever we do.
Here are seven lessons from Steve Jobs that will inspire any entrepreneur:
1. Don’t Fall in Love With Your Product
You may be the CEO of a hot new startup, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes. And one of the most common mistakes that startups make is falling in love with their product.
They think it’s so cool! So innovative! So much better than anything else out there! They get wrapped up in how competitive they are while neglecting to ask if they’re actually competitive.
As a result, they often end up putting all their time and money into building a product that no one wants. They spend five months designing the perfect user interface, only to go out and find that no one thinks their product is useful.
Or, even worse, they think people want their product—but those people have no idea what the product does or what problem it solves for them.
So don’t fall in love with your product. Don’t let yourself get so attached that you lose sight of whether or not it has any value for your customers. If you do fall in love with your product, you might end up wasting a lot of time and money on something that is never going to work out for you.
2. If You Don’t See The Value in Criticism, You Won’t Grow
It’s important to remember that criticism is not the same as negativity. Criticism is the act of evaluating something, while negativity is simply a state of mind.
Each of us has a way we think things should be done. We all have rules in our heads that we use to judge our own performance and the performance of others. When we see someone doing something differently than how we would do it, we might automatically assume that their way is incorrect.
This is what causes us to become negative about someone else’s choices—we are comparing their behavior against an idealized version of how we think things should be done and finding their choices to be wanting. But if you can learn not to do this, you will be more open to other viewpoints and be able to see potential in ideas that at first seemed wrong or off-track. If you want your business to grow, you’ll need to appreciate and even welcome constructive criticism from those around you as well as within yourself.
3. Your Success Depends On Who You Surround Yourself With
When you think about your success as a professional, you generally think about your own abilities. You think about things like your education, your experiences, and the skills you have developed. But what if there was more to it? What if your success was just as dependent on the people who surround you?
To be clear, when we talk about the people around us, we don’t just mean our family and friends. We mean the professional network that has developed around you through work experience, school, and other situations. The people in this network often include colleagues, business contacts, and even competitors.
Take some time to think about how these different classes of people might be affecting your career. Think about how you interact with them and how they interact with each other. Are these interactions helping or harming your career? If it’s the former, how can you build on these relationships? If it’s the latter… well… perhaps it’s time for a change of scenery!
4. Take Responsibility For Everything
Some people think that if they just say the right words and make a few promises, they can convince you that they did everything they could to deliver on their promises. I’m here to tell you a different story: I believe in taking responsibility for everything and owning up to my mistakes. I’ve never been afraid of admitting when I’ve messed up, and I own it every time.
When we make a mistake, we can think of two ways to respond. We can make excuses, or we can take responsibility. If we choose the first option, we’ll waste our time trying to justify ourselves and create reasons why our mistake wasn’t really our fault. If we choose the second option, then we’ll be able to see where things went wrong so that we can learn from our mistakes and do better in the future.
Taking ownership is an important quality for a leader to have because it tells your employees that you’re not going to try and hide problems or fail to admit when things aren’t working out as planned. This will help them feel more comfortable coming forward when they encounter issues at work—which ultimately leads to better solutions being found faster than if everyone had just kept quiet about what was happening behind closed doors.
5. Passion is the Key to Success, Not Motivation
This is a lesson from successful entrepreneur the late Steve Jobs. One of his fundamental truths was that people won’t really care about the product unless you deeply care about it yourself. Motivation is something that can be started and stopped, but passion, now that’s something that doesn’t quit.
Motivation is fleeting. It’s all too easy to start a day with great intentions and drive, only to end up distracted by the world around you or by your own inner critic. Passion, on the other hand, cannot be shaken. The work of your dreams—whether it’s painting or programming—is waking you up every morning, and you can’t wait to get started. It doesn’t feel like work anyway; it feels like an adventure!
Without motivation, you can easily find yourself drifting away from what you love to do. Without passion, though, you never would have gotten started in the first place!
6. Take Risks, Even If They Don’t Work Out
Taking risks is a part of life. It’s how you grow, learn, and evolve into a better version of yourself.
When you make a decision, you don’t always know the outcome. You can research and do your best to prepare for what’s ahead, but some things are out of your control. It may be scary or uncomfortable at times, but taking risks is one of the best ways to grow and become a successful entrepreneur.
Leaping off a cliff without knowing where you’ll land is not advised, but taking minor risks can help you accomplish big things! Don’t be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you intended, you will always have learned something valuable in the process.